The customer service is a crucial component of business success. Every contact your customers with your company represents an opportunity for you to improve your standing with them and increase the likelihood of further sales.
The way you express yourself on the phone to the efficiency of your systems command responses, almost every aspect of your business affects how your customers perceive your company. But there are also specific programs that you can put in place to increase your levels of customer service.
This guide outlines what is involved in customer service. It explains how you can use the relationship with the customer, feedback and loyalty schemes to retain existing customers, increase sales with them and even win new customers. It also discusses how to prepare to receive a complaint from a customer.
• What is the customer service?
• Understand your customers
• Customer feedback and contact programs
• Plans Customer Loyalty
• Use customer service to increase sales
• How to deal with customer complaints
What is the customer service?
The customer service involves the establishment of systems to maximize customer satisfaction with regard to the company. It must be a primary consideration for every business. Your sales and profitability depend on your ability to satisfy these customers.
The customer service is more directly important in some roles than others. With regard to the receptionists, sales personnel and other employees who have sex with clients, customer service should be a fundamental part of their job description and training, as well as a fundamental criterion as part of your recruitment.
But do not overlook the importance of customer service in other areas of your business. For example, your warehousing and shipping may have minimal relations with customers, but their performance when they fill orders has a major impact on client satisfaction with your company.
A huge range of factors can contribute to customer satisfaction, but your customers, both consumers and other businesses, are likely to consider:
• how your product or service meets the needs of customers
• the value of your offer
• your efficiency and reliability to fill orders
• how you keep your customers informed
• the service you offer
Training courses can be helpful to ensure levels of customer service highest possible.
Understand your customers
As part of the business to business, the offering of a customer service-level often requires that you discover what your customers want. When you have identified your most profitable customers or potential customers the best, you can focus your levels of customer service highest on them.Another approach, particularly in the consumer market, is obliged to treat all customers according to the highest standards. Collect information about your customers
Information about your customers and what they want are available from many sources:
• the history of their orders
• records of their communications with your company: telephone calls, meetings, etc..
• feedback. If you ask them, customers usually will tell you what they want
• changes in customer order patterns
• changes to the overall success of particular products or services
• feedback about your existing range. What it does and does not
• requests for information about possible new products or services
• the feedback from your customers about what they buy from other companies
• changes to goods and services that your competitors are selling
• feedback and recommendations from other suppliers who are not competitors
Manage information about your customers
It is important that you outline a plan for how the customer information must be collected and used in your business. Create a policy on customer service. Assign a senior manager as an expert in politics, but make sure that all your staff are involved. Often, the more you stand at the bottom of the ladder, the more direct contact with customers.
You can manage client files using a system or database management software for customer relations.
You should be aware that the collection and use information about customers require that you comply with the Act on privacy in the private sector .
Measure your levels of customer service
Where possible, put in place systems to assess your performance in areas of the company that affect levels of customer satisfaction significantly. Identify Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that reflect how you meet the expectations of your customers.
For example, you could follow:
• the turnover of sales
• the number of requests or complaints about your products or services
• the number of complaints about your employees
• the number of damaged or defective goods returned to you
• the average time to fill orders
• the number of contacts with a customer each month
• the volume of marketing material sent and responses generated
• the time taken from order to delivery
Your customers and employees will be useful sources of information about the IRC that best reflect the key areas of customer service in your business. Make sure you measure the elements that are not selected by the way your business works now, but by the way your customers want to see it work.
There are important areas of customer service that are more difficult to measure. Many of these are human factors such as how has a receptionist answering the phone or driving a salesman when he visits clients. In these areas, it is crucial that you get feedback from your customers regarding their perception of your customer service.
Surveys of customer feedback programs and occasional phone calls to key customers can be useful ways to gauge how levels of customer service your company is perceived.
Customer feedback and contact programs
Customer feedback and contact programs are two ways to increase communication with your customers. They can represent very good opportunities to listen to your customers and inform them more of what you can offer.
Customer feedback you can provide detailed information on how your business is perceived. This represents a chance for customers to express their objections, suggest changes or to endorse your existing processes and for you to listen to what they say and act accordingly. Feedback is often collected using questionnaires, in person, by phone or mail.
The objective relations programs with customers is to help you deliver personalized information to your customers. An example is the news of a special offer related to a previous purchase. Another is a reminder was sent at the time of the year in which a customer places an order traditionally. Relations programs are particularly useful to reconnect with lost customers.
Do your best to make sure your customers feel that the additional contact is relevant and brings them benefits. The fact of bombarding customers calls or unwanted marketing materials can be cons-productive. Newsletters and bulletin boards allow you to keep in touch with useful information.